Monday, October 17, 2011

We're In Atlanta Now!

Just to prove we really did fly over the Big Pond, here are a few images to prime the pump on our arrival since Thursday evening.

We really hit the road running! By the time we got to daughter Amy's house, around 5 p.m., we turned right around in the car to take grandson Nicholas (age 11, 6th grade) to the county fair. The same fair he hasn't missed since he was 2! If we didn't do it that night, we'd miss it altogether this year, which wasn't gonna happen.

Because it was supper time, we ate first!
The standby is roasted corn-on-the-cob AND a gigantic turkey leg.
The turkey leg got gobbled up so fast I didn't even take a picture of it.
The other standyby is homemade strawberry ice cream, which we ate at the end before leaving.

Then off we went to the Indian Village, one of our favorite "shows."
As Nicholas said, we needed to let our food settle before the rides.
I love the autumn/October flare that takes into account this time of the year.

Before leaving at 9:30 p.m., we had time for 3 rides, one of which included our favorite skylift.
But even Nicholas was satisfied. Half a fair is better than no fair at all!

By the time we dropped into bed that first night, it was 4:30 a.m. Dutch time. We had been up for almost 24 hours straight! That's what second wind is all about.

On Friday I had an appointment with my financial advisor, after which we met up for lunch with Bob and Marc, our dear friends. Very nice.

We have to teach everyone the left-right-left Dutch kisses on the cheeks, of course.
Thanks to Bob and his iPhone for these pics!

We ate at Jason's Deli, where you get unlimited soft-serve ice cream...a treat for us all kids.
Again, thanks to Bob and his iPhone...but no pics of him. Arrgh.

On Saturday I swore myself blue in the face watching Michigan State beat Michigan in football. DON'T EVEN GO THERE, Ruth! But afterwards Amy, Astrid and I went to see the new movie, The Help, which eased the pain. Totally worth seeing, if you ask us.

Yesterday we had the chance to meet up with Jerry and Josh for lunch, a former boss of mine and his son, before they move to Orlando, FL, in a couple weeks:

Isn't it wonderful how we can stay up on each other over the years!
Jerry "came out" shortly after I did in 1990, so we have been there for each other over the years.

Then for dinner last evening, we continued our annual tradition of treating everyone to Outback Steakhouse for all the birthdays we missed since last year.

While we waited for our food, Nichoals played with Mommie's iPhone.
Man! That Steve Jobs sure knew what he was doing!

Even son Mark was there. Fine eating, if not dining.
Happy campers all around.
[Remember that the 'A' means Astrid took the picture.]

Speaking of Mark, when we got back to Amy's, he, Amy, Astrid and I played 2 games of Scrabble before going to bed. He soundly beat us all...twice.

Now it's Monday and I'm off for my annual dermatology appointment, after which Peggy (from our Bob and Peggy friends, remember?) will pick us up and take us to their home for our stint with them till Friday. Then back to be with the kids in the Georgia mountains at the cabin next weekend. By now you know the drill!

These are the rituals and traditions that are now seeping deeply into our family psyche. And all of this thus far in 3+ days. Still kicking and going strong. We love it....


  1. Have a great time this side of the pond! So, what is that scary-looking face in the second montage? Is it part of the Indian Village exhibit?

  2. Did we do that much in such a short time.... sometimes I amaze myself HA.
    You said the right words, it is a wonderful tradition to fly over the Big Pond, at least once a year and celebrate.
    The fair was so much fun again, seeing it now at night-time was wonderful.
    Boy, that Nicholas knows what to do with corn on the cob AND the turkey-leg :)
    Meeting Bob and Mark was special, we were like kids and their ice-cream, I am glad we don't have a Jason's next door, I would be a blimp in no time.
    It was a delight to meet your former boss, Jerry and his son Josh. A dear friendship was shown here and Josh reminds me of my son, they both know what they want, such a blessing.
    Going out to dinner with the family is something I looked forward to, the company and the food is great.
    Talk about a challange, Scrabble in English, I had a blast finding the words. Mark impressed me, I think twice before challanging him in any game.
    So far our vacation is one big rollercoaster of delightful events.
    Thanks for doing a wonderful job again with the memory to keep.
    Life is too short NOT to enjoy.

  3. oh how hectic but fun few days you have. nicholas no longer has the "boy" face. he looks teenager now.

    looks like astrid is enjoying the trip also.

  4. Karen: As you can see, we've already had enough fun to last a long time...and still more's to come. And yes, that scary face is inside one of the pots hanging over a fire at the Indian Village. My guess is it's part of the Halloween spirit. :)

    Astrid: You sure know how to live in the moment, so no wonder you become like a little kid when we go to the fair. Thank you for loving it so much and sharing all these goodies with me. We are so very blessed!

    PC: You have watched Nicholas grow up before your very eyes all these years. He amazes me. No longer a little're right. And yes, that Astrid knows how to fit right in, enjoying life to the hilt.

  5. That homemade strawberry icecream made me hungry. Can you send me some over the internet? :) Enjoy your time back in the States.

  6. Tim: You'd kill for that homemade ice cream. I'd gladly send some to you, if I could. Thanks.

  7. I was happy to see a picture of Nicholas – he certainly has grown since I saw him last – won’t be able to say “sweet boy” much longer – he is becoming to be a young gentleman.

    I was tired just reading your schedule! You are packing in as much as you can, just like in a suitcase!

    We went to Ellijay yesterday then walked in the mountains for a while. It was so beautiful. Astrid and you will be able to take some glorious shots there when you go – in which part of North Georgia is your cabin? Last year we were in Helen for Halloween – and I have not posted on it yet….

  8. Really beautiful photos of beautiful moments !!!!!!!

  9. Oh goodie! I can't believe I haven't responded to your email since you arrived!!


    I love the photos of Nicholas! So precious, please give him a big hug from Aunt Ruth.

    The photo of Astrid and Nicholas on the ride is priceless!

    As for MSU vs UM . . . :-)




    OK, sorry, I had to go there for a second.

    How beautiful that you are there to carry on traditions and see old friends. I love seeing Amy and Dennis! Hello to them and Mark!

    By the way, do you know that Lesley found a special contraption for babies (didn't buy it) that fits around an iPhone and turns it into a baby toy. It protects it from slobber and all, and makes it look like a bigger hand-held game!

    I love this post, of course. Strange that you are "so close" . . . only 12 hours away. :-)

  10. Vagabonde: I hate it that it didn't work out for us to see each other this time! As you say, we have been packed tight, like our suitcases. UGH. But somehow, we always seem to manage.

    The cabin is in Blue Ridge, so that gives you a feeling of what a great place it is. We can hardly wait. But in the meantime, we'll enjoy the rest of this week. I believe we'll be touring the Fox Theatre, which will be a first for me.

    Elettra: Thanks for stopping by again! It really has been beautiful thus far.

    Ruth: I just had to show pictures of everyone because these really are the moments that count whenever we come back to the States. I will definitely pass on your greetings to the others when we see them this weekend.

    Thank you for being a little bit gracious about the football game. UGH!

    The baby-proof iPhone would be a hoot. Of course someone would come up with that.

    We ARE close...and on the same time zone. Can you believe it?! Thank you for "being there." It feels like you're closer, too. :)

  11. It makes me warm and fuzzy to know that you and Astrid are in the midst of family again, building bridges and memories. Wonderful!

  12. Hey guess what Ginnie and Astrid, I was in Atlanta last week... well, not really IN Atlanta, just driving through on the interstate on my way to Florida!! That was a week before you got there or we could have had a coffee together, oh well, next time!!!!
    Have a great time visiting the cabin, and all your many family and friends. That Nicholas of yours is certainly growing into a good looking young man!

  13. Deborah: THANK YOU. The support of this loving community never ceases to amaze and fill me up!

    Sham: So close...but no cigar! Oh my. We really did just miss each other. Next time, indeed. Thanks for stopping by here time after time. We are watching each other's grandkids grow up before our very eyes!

  14. Oh wat leuk om te zien hoe jullie genieten.
    Heb het fijn daar en kom veilig weer terug in Holland.
    Liefs naar jullie beiden.

  15. I bet you were all so happy to be able to go to the fair!! Your annual fair photos have been one of my favorites through the years! Nicholas is certainly growing up to be quite the handsome young man! It sounds like you had an amazing trip!

  16. Ank: It's always good to go back home to the kids and then back home to the Netherlands. TWO homes. Hartstikke bedankt!

    Mad: Some of you have been around for a long time. HA! I love it that you are one of them and that you remember how fast Nicholas is growing. THANK YOU.

  17. Finally getting a chance to stop by and visit your post... such fun you all seem to be having! (I still want to drop you a note outside of the blogosphere but haven't made the time yet to do a proper job of it.)

    I recall one of the very first posts of yours I read had to do with your grandson Nicholas and the fair... so it is wonderful you are keeping the tradition! (Fairs in Montana were part of our (my sister and myself) tradition as 4-H club members... we entered sewing projects every year and I even entered baking projects a couple of times. In later years, I helped with the Lion Club (my dad was a member) Bingo booth at the fair... all proceeds went to various charities. Can you tell that your post about the fair has brought back memories?

    It is amazing to see your grandson so grown up... look out girls! As always, I enjoyed the collages and the obvious good time you and Astrid are having. :-)

  18. Victoria: You amaze me with all you're doing, keeping up on me! And that you remember Nicholas and the fair, growing up before our very eyes. Thank you.

    The fair for me also meant 4-H when I was growing up. The fun part of it...the rides and the eats...we had nothing of that. I feel like I'm finally catching up. :)

  19. I think I'm a post behind and will have to come back and feast my eyes. I was asked the other day what European country I would want to visit... I didn't hesitate a moment... I said the Netherlands! And thought of your blog right away ;)

    So you are in the states and thoroughly enjoying yourself. That's great! My in-laws are coming for this weekend for a visit (I shouldn't even be blogging right now) and so family will be my focus as well! Snap away and have a wonderful visit. (and thank you for the compliment on my photography.... it means a lot)

  20. Well it only took me a day to get a comment on here! The entire post I kept on telling myself, I can't believe how much Nicolas has grown up!!!!

    The trip sounds amazing. I still can't believe how much you guys are able to pack into such short amts of time.

    Maybe I'll be able to keep up like that in 10 or 20

  21. Margaret: You'd LOVE the Netherlands! AND there are LOTS of horses. :) Your kids would love it too. Thank you for stopping by in the midst of your own hectic schedule right now. That means a lot to ME.

    ET: You're one of the ones who has been around watching Nicholas grow from the beginning, so you know how much he's growing. The same thing will now happen for me with Cammie. I will watch her grow before my very eyes! Thanks, Jen.

  22. Carpe diem - you sure do! I'm glad that you have such a wonderful time in Atlanta - and no, you can't miss the county fair!!! That is a must! As usual, I love all your picture, it's so nice to see you and your loved ones. I almost envy you for the cabin and hope you'll have a wonderful time together!

  23. Carola: You're wonderfully sweet and kind, wishing us a good time at the cabin. Thank you. We are so thrilled to be making these events traditions, year after year!

  24. Corn on the cob, turkey leg, and homemade strawberry ice cream sounds like a perfect meal to me. It must be wonderful to be able to catch up with everyone. I love the efficiency of celebrating everyone's birthday in one night!

  25. DB: The Fair sure knows how to make everything perfect, Diana, doesn't it! :) Thanks. And you are so right about the efficiency of one night's celebration for all birthdays! I love it...every year.